Engineering Program creates helpful inventions


Will Amos

Nurse Perry uses pill bottle holders in her office. Engineering students made them to solve the organization problem. some students have who take multiple prescriptions at school.

Will Amos, Reporter

The engineering program invited teachers, students and members of the community to submit project ideas for students to create. Of the many projects suggested, students made pill bottle holders, a Little Free Library for Pine Grove Middle School and automated garden tenders.

“We are hoping to develop engineering projects that focus on community needs,” Engineering teacher Michael Dodd-O said. “The projects are real world, and mean more to the students.”

Nurse Leslie Perry recommended the idea of pill bottle holders to Dodd-O because of problems holding them.

“I had students who take medications but might need to take more than one medication, but I did not really have a way to hold all of them,” Perry said. “I tried putting rubber bands around them, but they would tip over and knock over other bottles.”

Similar to how some epipen clips are made, the engineering classes made clips to hold bottles of different sizes in pairs using the 3D printer and laser engraver with the minimum amount of material possible.

“[The classes] made a ton of different ones and brought them up to me,” Perry said. “I sent some to other schools nurses who were very grateful because they have this problem too.”

The Little Free Library at Pine Grove Elementary was another projected recommended to the engineering program.

“Pine Grove Elementary School wanted a green Little Free Library because a lot of other schools are getting them and it’s a good cause,” Zach McKennedy, who participated in the creation of the Little Free Library said. “We used the laser engraver, ban saw, table saw and drills to make it.”

Devin Zahn (’20) helped create automated garden tenders, or “Farm Bots” according to Zahn.

“The purpose of the Farm Bots were to make an easier system for people so they do not have to manually water their gardens all the time,” Zahn said. “We used recycled parts from old robotics fields, parts left around and old liter bottles; some groups 3D-printed parts, and we coded them to run up and down tracks at the high school and middle school.”

Other students like Hailey Clark (’19) worked individually on projects to benefit others. Clark worked on a writing adaptor for a student with a hand deformity at Fifth District Elementary School.

“My assistive writing device was basically a 3D printed hook sized to fit the student to help him write,” Clark said. “It bend to fit to his hand and is big enough to hold a pencil. He uses it every day at school.”

Clark’s goal is to customize these writing devices so other students who have issues with motor skills.

“It’s definitely customizable to relate to other students who would need it,” Clark said. “It was hard but if I got the opportunity to make more and help more people I would take it.”